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The Lux Radio Theater

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Lux Radio Theatre

The Lux Radio Theater was the premier dramatic program (and there were many competing for that status), and it retained the position for its entire 21-year run. The hour-long plays that ranged from comedy and mystery to stage drama and biography featured Hollywood’s most prestigious actors and renown stars who are still revered in the entertainment industry today: Errol Flynn, Ronald Reagan, Orson Welles, Gary Cooper, Lionel Barrymore, Cary Grant, Bette Davis … the stunning parade of stars began on October 14, 1934 and didn’t end until the program left its adoring listeners on June 7, 1955.

The Lux Radio Theater’s unusual name is courtesy of its sponsor, Lux Soap, a product that was lavishly praised by stars and starlets during commercial breaks. Of the seven hosts during the life of the program, Cecil B. DeMille is the most memorable. The movie giant who produced and directed equally giant films announced with a Hollywood attitude, adding a flamboyance to the program and an intimacy with its stars which enhanced the epic personality of the weekly performances. Every show stretched for perfection, and listeners today discover when they close their eyes during a show, images conjured by superb acting and powerful writing create a theater in the mind.